Southwell sinks Stevenage with first-half winner
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Dayle Southwell’s first goal for Wycombe Wanderers consigned Stevenage to defeat at Adams Park.
The 22-year-old striker, who struck 54 goals in two seasons with Boston United before signing for the Chairboys in the summer, put away one of three good chances in a flurry of efforts towards the end of the first period to land Wycombe a second league win of the season.
Wycombe edged the match, just, but it had begun with Stevenage on the front foot as they looked to build on back-to-back league wins over Hartlepool United and Crawley Town.
Boro continued with two up front with Matt Godden partnering Tyler Walker, who had three goals in his previous two matches, but it was Tom Pett who put down a marker for the match with some terrific play early doors.
The winger robbed Michael Harriman of the ball in his own half before sprinting the length of the pitch only for on-loan Chelsea keeper Jamal Blackman to clutch his low shot.
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Pett then curled a left-footed effort off target before Walker also sent a shot just wide of Blackman’s goal.
While Boro had the best of the opening 20 minutes Wycombe finished the half the stronger of the two sides.
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Michael Tonge fouled marauding midfielder Aaron Pierre some 25 yards from goal, with Harriman’s free-kick being touched wide by keeper Jamie Jones.
Southwell then had three chances; the first saw him fire wide, the second came from a one-on-one with Jones which he struck at the keeper and the third saw him tap-in at the far post for 1-0 after Boro had been unable to cut out a pass across the face of goal by Sam Wood.
Stevenage will be disappointed that Southwell’s run was not tracked, leaving the forward with a simple finish.
Boro boss Darren Sarll waited 12 minutes into the second half before making his first change of the afternoon with Fox making way for Kennedy, but while the tenacious midfielder added a bit of energy Boro struggled to make any headway.
Dominic Gape went close with a volley for the hosts while Stevenage substitute Rowan Liburd had the ball caught under his feet in the box as the clock ticked towards 90 minutes.
Kgosi Ntlhe also fired off target as Boro ramped up the pressure in the final 10 minutes, but Wycombe, who had looked shaky at the back in the first half, held strong to keep a second clean sheet in the league this season.
Stevenage should not be disheartened by the scoreline though. It was a decent performance against a Wycombe side who should finish in the top half of the table, a place Boro also covet. It’s just that for once they lacked a cutting edge, a rare thing indeed for the club this season.
The result leaves Stevenage 16th in the table after eight matches, and next up is a home game against Exeter City on Saturday.
Wycombe Wanderers: Blackman, Harriman, Jombati, Stewart, Pierre, Thompson, Bloomfield, Gape, Wood (Rowe 90), Hayes, Southwell (Cowan-Hall 78). Subs: Richardson, McGinn, Akinfenwa, De Havilland, Kashket.
Stevenage: Jones, Ntlhe, Lee, Wilkinson, Franks, Fox (Kennedy 57), King, Tonge (Liburd 85), Pett (McAnuff 75), Godden, Walker. Subs: Preston, Schumacher, Cowans, Kerr.